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Rangers must earn a point to keep playoff hopes alive

Friday, 04.08.2011 / 10:43 PM

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer / Devils-Rangers: A live-blog

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Devils-Rangers: A live-blog
Rangers must earn a point to keep playoff hopes alive
Everything that could've gone wrong for the Rangers did on Friday night.

The Carolina Hurricanes easily handled the Atlanta Thrashers 6-1, one night after the Thrashers came away with a 3-0 victory against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The win moved the Hurricanes into eighth place and knocked the Rangers down to ninth entering the season's final weekend.

The Rangers also received no help from the Philadelphia Flyers, who squandered a third-period lead in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres, who clinched a playoff spot when the game went to overtime.

Things couldn't be more simple for the Rangers, who must simply earn more points than the Hurricanes on Saturday to get into the postseason. The Hurricanes play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. A win puts the Hurricanes into the playoffs no matter what the Rangers do. Making matters worse for the Rangers, the Lightning are entrenched in the fifth seed and can't move up or down in the standings no matter what happens.

If the Rangers lose in regulation to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday afternoon at MSG, they are eliminated. If they can just earn a point in overtime, a regulation loss by the Hurricanes gets the Rangers into the postseason.

Starting at about 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, I'll have live updates on everything, from the Rangers' lineup changes to the live action from the game. Check back often for the latest news and info from the afternoon tilt.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
Quote of the Day

The old saying in hockey is 'weather the storm.' I put the notion in their heads that we don't want to weather the storm, we want to push just as hard and matched their work ethic. I thought our guys exceeded that in the first period.

— Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins after their loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday
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